Multiyear highway bill emerges

By |  June 24, 2015

The Senate introduced a six-year, $275 billion bill to fund the federal government’s highway program.

The bill, called the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, appropriates nearly $43 billion per year for transportation spending, The Hill reports.

“Our nation’s roads and highways have suffered under too many short-term extensions, which have led to higher costs, more waste and less capability to prioritize major modernization projects to address growing demands on our interstates,” says Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). “The DRIVE Act will provide states and local communities with the certainty they deserve to plan and construct infrastructure projects efficiently.”

According to The Hill, the bill’s sponsors say they are deferring to appropriators in the Senate on how the multiyear transportation bill should be financed.

“The clock is ticking, and action in the [Senate Environment and Public Works] Committee is a major first step,” Boxer says. “The other committees also need to act. In order to make the DRIVE Act a reality, we must provide full funding so that city, state and local governments have the certainty they need to make the investments we’ve outlined in this bill,” Carper says.

Mike Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, adds that the bill is a “solid first step” toward a long-term highway bill.

“The trickier part is for Congress to figure out how to pay for it,” Johnson says.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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